• Today's Daily Devotion
Red Beans and Rice
THE NEIGHBORHOOD is tough. Gunshots often punctuate the night air. No one is safe outside the fire station, but it’s still one of the best assignments in our town.

Reverend Wayne Detzler, PhD, Chaplain (Retired) – Charlotte, NC, Fire Department; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Regional Director

RED BEANS AND RICE

Reaching out to each other

THE NEIGHBORHOOD is tough. Gunshots often punctuate the night air. No one is safe outside the fire station, but it’s still one of the best assignments in our town. Locally, it’s called “Fort Apache”!

“I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

“Time to eat, Chaplain,” the guys welcomed me as I settled in for an all night ride-along. The meal was simple. It was a pot full of rice and red beans. Next to it was the signature Southern cornbread. And for desert, there was a huge banana pudding.

The food came in second, however. The real center of our attention was the relationship between firefighters. These guys had seen everything, and they’d worked together for a long period of time.

Around the table is where firefighters are joined in heart and mind. In actuality, however, the kitchen is the real heart of the fire station. Very often it’s the place where friendships are forged and lives are changed. One night a Christian brother was hanging out in the kitchen when another firefighter came in with a startling question. “Can you tell me how to accept Christ into my life?” the young firefighter asked his friend.

No sooner had the Christian commenced to explain the Gospel than the tones went off. Together they went for the pole and slid to the equipment room. In a few minutes they were back in the station. My Christian friend wondered if the chance had passed him by. But, he didn’t have to wait long to find the answer.

“Now, will you tell me?” the other firefighter asked him. “Now, will you tell me how to accept the Lord?” Mercifully the station was silent. Quiet enough for the believer to lead his friend to faith. So, the kitchen is where the Bread of Life is also served up at times. Sometimes, it’s the place where people come to new life in Christ.

In the Scripture, the Lord spent his last night before the Crucifixion with his men around the table. Jesus promised them there was a day coming when they would again meet around the table in Glory. What a feast that will be, second only to the heart-and-mind union and fellowship of those seated at Christ’s table.

Prayer:

I thank you, Lord, for those times of rich fellowship around the table.


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